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Founder and Principal Cannabis Consultant

Charlena Berry founded Cannabis Business Growth in 2017 after spending 13 years honing her professional skills at Fortune 500 companies like Whirlpool and Office Depot/Office Max. As a cannabis business executive and the company’s principal cannabis consultant, Charlena works tirelessly to help new and seasoned entrepreneurs alike gain entrance into the ever-evolving world of cannabis. To date she has consulted on more than 300 cannabis projects across the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, Africa, and Australia.

Under her leadership, Cannabis Business Growth has managed client budgets upwards of $50 million and has led projects across all sectors of the cannabis industry including cultivation, manufacturing, commercial retail, distribution, and testing laboratories. Her keen insights into the multitiered cannabis application process coupled with her diligent problem solving methodologies has made Cannabis Business Growth the number one choice for cannabis business planning, license application writing, operational compliance support, and portfolio management.

While Charlena has experience working in all the states where cannabis is legal, she has a special place in her heart for Michigan where she earned her Master of Science in Supply Chain Management from Michigan State University. She currently resides in Boca Raton, Florida, with her family where she enjoys spending weekends traveling or enjoying the beautiful Florida sunshine.

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Director of Operations

Alysia Gordy joined Cannabis Business Growth in 2019, bringing 12 years of business analyst and project management experience to her role. As Director of Operations at Cannabis Business Growth, Alysia thrives on the technical side of the application process, crafting detailed content that highlight the best operational practices in inventory management, security, cash management, point of sale procedures, and hiring practices.


She eagerly deep-dives into location-based cannabis regulation research to create winning license roadmaps and helps clients maintain compliance by finding equipment vendors and services for their operation—she prides herself on sweating the details, so her clients don’t have to.


With nearly 50 state and city license applications under her belt, Alysia has become a savvy cannabis business operations consultant who enjoys setting her clients up for success. She is also a Lean Six Sigma Blackbelt, which certifies her business expertise in using data-driven methodologies to improve quality and efficiency by eliminating defects, variation, and waste. She focuses on streamlining business processes and leading projects in a way that removes obstacles and supports the client’s strategic goals. She also holds a BA in Business Administration from Western Michigan University.

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Principal Consultant

David Kotler, Esq. a former prosecutor is a partner in Cohen Kotler P.A., located in Boca Raton, Florida and has been Of Counsel to Hoban Law Group since the inception of its’ national cannabis practice. Since the formation of Medical Marijuana Business Lawyers LLC, a practice area of Cohen Kotler, in 2014, Mr. Kotler was one of the first attorneys in Florida to undertake representation of clients hoping to operate in Florida under the Florida Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act of 2014 and after the legalization of full spectrum medical marijuana.


He has a wide range of experience in the cannabis industry from license applications in multiple states and Zimbabwe, Africa, to start-up and regulatory matters.  He currently consults with individuals and companies countrywide and has served as outside general counsel for numerous cannabis industry clients.


He sits on the advisory boards of The Cannabis Marketing Lab and Blunts and Moore, the first social equity applicant license winner to become operational in the U.S..  He has been interviewed by news sources including the Daily Business Review, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, National Public Radio in Miami, Florida, Marijuana Business Magazine, The New Times, and the Marijuana Business Daily among others.


He has written a monthly column for the Cannabis Industry Journal and is a contributor to Cannabis News Florida among other publications.   In 2019, Mr. Kotler was appointed by Agriculture Commissioner Nicki Fried to Florida’s first Medical Cannabis Advisory Committee.  

Mr. Kotler’s operations work includes:


  • Blunts and Moore, Oakland California Retail License Holder – Co-Founder, Member 

  • Solurge, Massachusetts Provisional Medical License Holder for Cultivation, Processing, and Retail – Co-Founder and Chief Compliance Officer

  • Maleza Hem, Zimbabwe Africa License Holder for Medical Cannabis and CBD Export –Obtained 1 of 37 licenses issued by the country after presentation to Cabinet,  Interim CEO.  

  • The Bract House, Sonora California Medical Retail – Member (Pilot program, 1 of 2 licenses awarded by city for medical retail use, SUP issued, pending build out and state licensure) 

  • Category 5 Farms, Sacramento California, Locally Permitted and State Provisionally licensed Cultivation, Manufacturing, and Distribution, Co-founder and minority interest holder.  

  • Lake Life Farms, Big Rapids and Dimondale, Michigan - Chief Executive Officer for Lake Life's cultivation and retail operations. 



Cannabis Retail & Cultivation Consultant

Ralph Calderon has over 5 years of legal cannabis experience in the regulated cannabis industry including Retail, Cultivation, and Manufacturing operations. Over the course of his career, Ralph his companies have served more than 6,000 medical cannabis patients and harvested more than 14,000 cannabis plants.


Ralph is a co-founder of Blue Mountains Collective in San Andreas, California.  He is the founder of Category 5 Farms, a Sacramento based micro-business with cultivation, manufacturing, and distribution licenses; and The Bract House a Sonora, California Medical Retail licensee.

Ralph is a licensed contractor who has designed and personally built 2 facilities with over 20,000 sq. feet of canopy in California. With a passion for the plant, he uses his hands-on industry experience as a consultant. He has helped design a licensed cultivation facility in Massachusetts with a canopy of 18,000 sq. feet, a permitted facility in Michigan which will be 10,000 sq. feet, and a planned facility in Zimbabwe totaling over 80,000 sq. feet of canopy.

As a cultivator, Ralph has a deep understanding of cannabis cultivation and is able to offer new industry entrants’ advice on cultivation operations. He is experienced with genotype and phenotype selection to identify cannabis cultivars that produce premium grade cannabis flower.


Ralph has perfected the process of cloning and propagation through seeds and clones and has a deep understanding of how to manage the environmental conditions to produce healthy cut lings. He has gained experience and knowledge related to genetic modification to create specialized, proprietary plant genetics. Ralph has knowledge and experience using hermetically sealed indoor cultivation rooms to prevent microbial and fungal growth. He has designed air exchange and filtration systems to remove spores and other microorganisms.


Ralph uses integrated pest management (IPM) protocols which are an ecosystem-based pest management strategy that focuses on long-term prevention of pests or their damage through a combination of techniques such as biological control, habitat manipulation, modification of cultural practices, and use of resistant varieties. Ralph has designed standard operating procedures to ensure that cultivation employees execute repeatable processes to deliver a consistent, perpetual supply of premium cannabis.

As a retail operator, Ralph is able to provide insight on retail best practices, facility design, POS System selection, people management, time and attendance policies, customer identity validation, product procurement, cash management, and overall cannabis retail management. With Ralph’s industry experience, he serves as a valuable asset and Principle Operations Consultant with Cannabis Business Growth Team.

Cannabis Consulting



A woman-owned and led business, Cannabis Business Growth has successfully consulted for hundreds of domestic and international cannabis projects. Experts in the field, they provide clients with tangible strategies to ultimately win Cannabis Licenses and construct profitable facilities.